Not all points and miles are created equal. But, being able to earn points and miles with mobile apps, with little to no effort, is something you should be taking advantage of!
There are three mobile apps that might be useful to download on your phone. And, they require practically no work to start earning. Unlike shopping portals, you typically don’t need to go through a specific link to earn!
Before we jump in, I should mention that you aren’t going to be earning points and miles directly toward travel, but you will be earning points and miles that can be redeemed for things like free car rentals and gift cards.
The first way to earn points and miles with mobile apps is with the app, Drop. I really like Drop because it’s so easy to use, and you don’t have to do anything. Download, link your bank accounts, and earn points.
I forgot I had it for the longest time until one day I realized I had enough points to buy a gift card.
The first thing you need to do is download the app. If you’re feeling nice, you can even do so using my referral link by clicking here. or you can use the referral code “sn1n7”. Once you download the app, you can link your debit and credit cards. Drop makes it super easy by allowing you to enter credentials for the bank website instead of each individual card.
You will then pick five of your favorite stores. (Note: once you make the selection, it doesn’t appear that you can change the stores). The stores vary based on where you’re located. I was able to select the following:
Lyft (10 points per $1)
Seamless (16 points per $1)
Fred Meyer (12 points per $1)
McDonald’s (8 points per $1)
Trader Joe’s (7 points per $1)
You’re then able to add other offers to your account very similar to how Amex Offers work. Whenever you use your cards that are connected to your account you will earn Drop points.
There will also be the chance to earn points through a “Supercharge”. Once you make a set number of purchases you can earn a Supercharge bonus. My most recent Supercharge bonus consisted of me playing a game of snake earning points.
Drop points can then be redeemed for gift cards at places like like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Whole Foods, and Uber Eats, to name a few.
It’s a no brainer to sign-up, add your cards, and let your rewards start piling up! On top of the points you earn, you will still earn points on your credit cards as well. So, if I spent $10 on a Lyft, I would still get 30 Chase Ultimate Rewards (thanks to 3x on travel on my Chase Sapphire Reserve), 30 Hilton Honors Points (thanks to a new promotion), AND my 100 Drop points.
Dosh is relatively new to my phone, but so far, I’ve found it useful and a worthwhile.
It’s a popular cashback app. It works similarly to Drop – you add your cards and earn cashback based on purchases at stores and restaurants.
What makes the app different than Drop is that you don’t actually have to add any offers to your Dosh account – the cash back will just appear in your account if you use a linked card at a Dosh establishment. The stores and restaurants are sorted based on your location so you will see places that are around you. There are also online stores like Forever 21.
In order to withdraw your money, you must have at least $25 built up in your account. If you want to download this app, you can find it in the app store. You can even use our referral link!
You can use our referral link or the code “JOHNT151” if you would like to support the site.
Miles is the app I’m still on the fence about. But, it’s an effortless way to earn points and miles with a mobile app.
The app gives you “miles” for actual miles that you travel. This can be in a car, rideshare, biking, walking, flying or even skiing. Different types of transportation are worth different amounts of miles.
Run/Walk = 10x
Bike = 5x
Bus/Train/Boat/Ski = 3x
Carpool/Ride share = 2x
Car = 1x
Air = .1x
For instance, if you walk 1 mile, you will earn 10 “miles”.
After each trip you take, you will see a map screenshot and info about how many miles you earned. I earn miles by walking around at work (I walk a lot, so it thinks I’m commuting).
The major downside to Miles is that the redemption options are not great. You’re basically only able to redeem these “miles” for intro offers as if you were a first time customer. At this point, there are just one or two offers for Silvercar that have value.
While there’s really nothing on there that I have any interest in right now, I’m holding out hope that as the app gets older, there might be better redemption options.
Are these apps safe to use?
In today’s age, security and privacy of personal data are very important. I would say if you’re uncomfortable putting any of your info out there (including location tracking for Miles), these apps probably aren’t for you.
With that said, all of these apps have security features that protect your banking information.
Drop uses bank-level encryption so they never have access to your accounts nor are they stored on the Drop servers. It also uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) which makes sure your data is transmitted to Drop and not intercepted. It’s also been verified by DigiCert, which is a leader in online data security.
Dosh is very similar to Drop – it has 256-bit encryption and doesn’t store any personal data relating to bank accounts. So, even if it were to get hacked, your credentials wouldn’t be accessible.
The Miles app doesn’t store any bank account information but instead tracks your movements. I’m of the belief that my iPhone already knows where I am at all times, so having Miles track me too isn’t a huge deal.
You have to be okay with “giving up” your personal and banking info, but we believe the apps are safe given the secure encryption they have.
At the end of the day, earning cash back or rewards by doing nothing is a good idea. For example, by using Drop, you can earn a $15 Starbucks gift card every couple of months by doing nothing. Similarly, by using Dosh, you can earn cashback on purchases you make without any effort. And, hopefully, Miles will add in redemption options to make it worthwhile as well!